Riding an elephant in Thailand

If you go to Thailand there is one thing that you absolutely MUST do – ride an elephant!

by Kate Wiley

When I hit Thailand the first and only thing that topped my wishlist of things to do was to ride an elephant. On my second last day in Thailand I got my wish! Elephant riding, Inthakhin

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What to do in Dwarka

Visit Dwarka India

Dwarka (which is also spelled Dvarka, Dwaraka, and Dvaraka),is a city in the Gujarat state in India.

Dvaraka is also known as Dwarawati in Sanskrit literature.

Confused? I don’t blame you 🙂

Dwarka is one of the seven most ancient cities in India, and one reason for the many names is that Dvaraka (as it used to be known) has submerged six times, because of damage and destruction by the ocean, and modern day Dwarka is therefore the seventh such city to be built in the area.

So Dwarka is the city you’ll visit. Davaraka, and the other spellings, are used when referring to historical matters.

Got that? 🙂

Dwarka quick facts:

Population: 33,614
Best time to visit: October to March
Languages: Gujarati,English,and Urdu

The major festival: Janmashtami (birthday of Lord Krishna), celebrated in the month of August/September.

How to get there (from inside India)

BY RAIL – Dwarka is a station on the Ahmedabad-Okha broad-gauge railway line, about 137 km from Jamnagar, 217 km from Rajkot and 378 km from Ahmedabad.

BY ROAD – A state highway with Jamnagar and Okha also connects it.

BY AIR – Nearest airport is Jamnagar, from where flights for Mumbai can be taken. Luxury coaches are available from Dwarka to other important cities of Gujarat.

Dwarka is an important pilgrimage center. It’s considered to be one of the holiest cities in Hinduism and one of the 4 main “dhams” along with Badrinath, Puri, Rameswaram. The city is especially respected by Vaishnavas. The Jagatmandir temple which houses the Dwarkadhish, a form of Krishna is also located in Dwaraka.

The legendary city of Dvaraka was the home of Lord Krishna, and that’s probably why you want to go there.

Visit Dwarka India – Krishna Pilgramage

The Dwarakadheesh temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Krishna, who is worshipped here by the name Dwarkadhish, or ‘King of Dwarka’. It’s situated at Dwarka, Gujarat, which is believed to have been built after the historic Dvarka city, the Kingdom of Krishna himself which submerged in to the ocean after the Mahabharata war. The main shrine of the 5-storied building, supported by 72 pillars, is known as Jagat Mandir or Nija Mandir, and is believed to be 2500 years old. The Dwarkadhish Temple is Pushti Marg Temple hence it follows the guidelines and rituals created by Shree Vallabacharya and Shree Vitheleshnathji.

The present temple was built in 16th century CE, while the original temple was believed to have been built by Krishna’s grandson, Vajranabha, over the hari-griha (Lord Krishna’s residential place) and became part of the Char Dham pilgrimages considered most sacred by Hindus in India, after Adi Shankaracharya, the 8th century reformer and philosopher, visited the shrine and even today a memorial within the temple is dedicated to his visit.

Dwarakadheesh temple, Dwaraka

The 5-storied temple is made of limestone and sand. A flag hoisted in the temple tower five times each day. There are two gateways – Swarga Dwar, where pilgrims enter, and Moksha Dwar, where pilgrims exit. From the temple one can view the Sangam (confluence) of River Gomati flowing towards the sea. In Dwaraka, there are also shrines for Vasudeva, Devaki, Balarama and Revati, Subhadra, Rukmini Devi, Jambavati Devi and Satyabhama Devi.

There is a special temple for Rukmini Devi on the way to Bet Dwarka temple, which can be reached by boat. A similar deity of Lord Dwarakanath is also kept in Bet Dwaraka. The temple has many Shrines for Lakshmi Narayana, Trivikrama, Jambavati Devi, Satyabhama Devi and Rukmini Devi… source: Wikipedia.org.

Visit Dwarka India – the main tourist attractions.

Dwarka Lighthouse, Nageshwar Jyotirlinga Temple and Sabha Mandapa are the most popular tourist attractions in Dwarka, offering a rare visual treat, wonderful experiences, combined with interesting legends and history.

The lighthouse is a great spot to watch the setting sun. Admission is free and it’s open between 4.30pm and 6pm for sunset photos.
Its history goes back to the early 19th century when a port was constructed at Rupeen Creek. The square 18 metre tall, tower, made of stone, was constructed at the present site in the year 1866. When Sir Richard Temple, Governor of Bombay visited Dwarka in November 29, 1877, he visited the lighthouse and decided that the oil-wick lamp wasn’t good enough, so equipment was imported from England to boost the lighthouses power and the visibility of the light. Nearly fifty years later, in 1927,D.Alen Stevenson, lighthouse specialist specialist paid a visit and reported that everything was well maintained, but just 40 years later, between 1960 and 1962 a new square masonry Tower, 43 meters tall was built with stone from Birmingham, UK, and the storm warning signal mast, which was the latest equipment available at that time, was also installed.

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Nageshwar Jyotirlinga Temple also called Nagnath Temple is one of the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines of Shiva in India. This structure is considered to represent the removal of evil activities from earth. It is located 17 kilometers from Dwarka and remains open from 6am to 10pm.

Nageshwar Jyotirlinga has interesting legend. There was a devotee of the temple, named Supriya who was attacked by a demon called Daaruka. Daaruka imprisoned the devotee and several others in his Daarukaavana. Lord Shiva appeared at the temple in the form of Jyotirlinga. Lord Shiva freed the prisoners and killed Daaruka. The place took its name from the demon Daruka. According to legend, before Daaruka’s death, this demon appealed to the god that the place be named after him, now known as Nagnath.

This temple houses the idol of Shivalinga that faces towards the south. The idol of Gomugam housed inside the temple is positioned on the east portion. Nageshwar Jyotirlinga also houses the Giant statue of Lord Shiva which allures the devotees. This temple during the eve of Shivaratri turns to a place of festivities amidst a large number of devotees.

Another beautiful place in Dwarka to visit is the Sabha Mandapa. Sabha Mandapa is a stunning multi-pillared 12th century structure, and the highlight of the Dwarkadhish Temple. This structure leads to 60 pillared sanctum of the temple which has very old scriptures dating back of 2500 years.

Besides this, there is a small temple positioned at a lower level, is housed at the middle part of the Sabha Mandapa. This gorgeous temple is known as Balramji Temple which also houses the idol of Shri Mahaprabhuji. The natural beauty of the surroundings of the temple can be also enjoyed at this sanctum of Sabha Mandapa.

Visit Dwarka India – Dwarka Underwater.

Gomati creek, located at the eastern side of Dwarka, served as a safe harbour till the 19th century AD. Offshore explorations have brought to light a large number of stone structures which appear to be the remains of an ancient jetty. This hypothesis is supported also by the discovery of a large number of stone anchors of various types in Dwarka waters. The typology of anchors has indicated that Dwarka was an important port since historical period. Maritime activities increased many folds during the medieval period. This flourishing port and religious capital got submerged under the sea.

Archaeological excavations brought to light a jetty at Kuntasi in Gujarat dating back to Harappan period. Similarly, excavations have revealed a dockyard and a few stone anchors at Lothal, another Harappan site. There are several literary references mentioning ports at many coastal sites during the early historical period (2500 to 1500 yrs BP), but archaeological remains of these ports are scanty. Most of the settlements were situated either on the river banks or on the banks of backwaters, which would have served as an excellent natural harbour. These locations being highly vulnerable to floods and other natural disasters, it is not surprising that only scanty evidence for their existence remain. Excavations at Poompuhar brought to light, a wharf situated on the bank of the old course of the river Kaveri. Similarly, onshore excavation at Elephanta Island yielded a wharf dating back to early centuries of the Christian Era. There is evidence to suggest that the present Bet Dwarka jetty has been used as a harbour since the early historic period…. source: wikipedia.org.

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Singapore Tourist Attractions You Must Visit

Time Never Waits.(Singapore)

Singapore Tourist Attractions You Must Visit

There are certain places in specific countries that define them. Some come easily to mind, with the Eiffel Tower in Paris or the Le Arch De Triumph in the same country. The Egyptians have the pyramids or the famous gold markets and Italy has their museums, the Vatican and of course the ever famous leaning tower. Singapore is no different from this and there are many Singapore tourist attractions that you must visit, packed into a small island nation. It is amazing in itself that Singapore, with its diminutive size has been able to pack in so much culture, tradition and entertainment every where a visitor turns and here is a quick overview of the Singapore tourist attractions you must visit.

Singapore Tourist Attractions – the food 🙂

I think one of the main attractions is the food of Singapore, something everyone must taste before they depart the country. Local delights are a source of pride for every Singaporean because they carry with it that special touch and flavour that make them unique to this island nation. Tourists should always visit areas like Little India, Chinatown and Arab Street to taste some of the best local delights that Singapore has to offer. Not only do can they recognise the different ethnic enclaves and slices of our multinational and multicultural society. Enjoy true local Chinese delights in any of the coffee shops and shop houses that pepper these locations – at the same time enjoy the rich sights and sounds of these places over a steaming cup of a local favourite. There is nothing like immersing oneself in a sensory experience, smell, touch, taste – all while viewing the rich tapestry of culture draped all around – from preserved old architecture to colloquial slangs.

You have not experienced Singapore without experiencing some of the more famous walkabouts among the visitor circles. Don’t forget to visit the Central Business District and be amazed by the sight of the tall skyscrapers touching the clouds in an arrangement that has graced post cards and brochures all over the world. Be awed by the Esplanade and its titillating architectural design. Relax by the Singapore River, party in Asia’s first floating event platform and soar above all your expectation with the Singapore Flyer – larger than the London Eye by a long shot – giving you a great view of the island.

Resort World Sentosa, SG    (DSC_0069_70_71)

Resort World Sentosa, Photo by Schristia.

Singapore Tourist Attractions – Sentosa

If you love the beach then your trip will not be complete without visiting Sentosa – Singapore’s very own separate island beach. Literally meaning tranquillity, this engineered beach is a picture of perfection, from calm waters and beautiful sandy beaches. Within Sentosa itself is attractions, events and things to do that you wont have enough hours of the day to complete.

Singapore is a 24 hour a day entertainment hub, and no matter how weird your sleeping patterns, you will always find something to do. There are so many Singapore tourist attractions you must visit, you could not possibly do them all in a single trip. From cultural locales to a busy central district – there is more than one way to be amazed.

Singapore is a beautiful country located in South East Asia. Besides being well known for Singapore Tourism. Singapore hospitals boasts world class service. When in Singapore, you should visit their Aromatherapy Spa after a full day of shopping.
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Lonely Planet World Food Malaysia and Singapore (Lonely Planet World Food Guides)

Malaysians and Singaporeans are food obsessed: broach the subject of food with locals and it may appear that eating takes priority over everything else in life. The multicultural traditions of the region offer the food lover a gastronomic experience like no other – a fusion of herbs, spices, sauces and ingredients from a host of cuisines, each continually borrowing from the other. To eat or drink in Malaysia and Singapore is far more than an act of sustenance, it is a social experience – a

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Singapore, officially the Republic of Singapore, is an island country off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, 137 kilometres (85 miles) north of the equator, in the Southeast Asian region of the Asian continent. It is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north, and from Indonesia’s Riau Islands by the Singapore Strait to its south. Singapore is the world’s fourth leading financial centre and a cosmopolitan world city, playing a key role in international trade and finance. The port of Singapore is also amongst the top five busiest ports in the world.

Singapore is a country with a long history of immigration. It has a diverse population of close to 5 million people made up of Chinese, Malays, Indians, Asians of various descents and Caucasians.42% of the population in Singapore are foreigners who work and study there. Foreign workers make up 50% of the service sector in Singapore.The country is the second most densely populated in the world after Monaco. A.T. Kearney names Singapore as the most globalised country in the world in its Globalization Index.

Prior to independence in 1965, Singapore was a vibrant trading port with a GDP per capita of $511, the third highest in East Asia then. After independence, foreign direct investment and a state-led drive for industrialization based on plans by former Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Goh Keng Swee created a modern economy.

The Economist Intelligence Unit in its “Quality-Of-Life Index” ranks Singapore as having the best quality of life in Asia and eleventh overall in the world

Source: wikipedia.org